tv Washington Journal CSPAN March 19, 2011 7:00am-10:00am EDT
the latest on libya and the world's response to the situation there. geoffrey freeman discusses how the trusted traveler initiative would work and later some tax filing tips from arthur auerbach. "washington journal" is next.>>n officials are denying that a warplane has been shot down by rebels. there is video of a plane going down. this is courtesy of al jazerra this morning. several poems of smoke in benghazi. this video is provided by al j
azerra. those are some events this morning. and colonel gaddafi in a letter said in a potential intervention would come with regret. u.s. and allied forces meeting in paris to talk about potential military action. president obama said yesterday that the united states will take part in a no-flight effort. -- no-fly effort. we want to get your thoughts on the u.s. joined the no-fly effort. here is how you can contribute this morning. here iare the numbers at the bottom of your screen. the president announcing
yesterday in a statement about the united states supporting a no-fly zone. this has been done by several allies. we will take a look at the headlines on "washington journal" this morning. mr. obama sketched out an american military role. -- rule. you have probably seen other headlines this morning as well. meetings are going on to talk about the strategy with the united states and other allied forces. the president made the statement yesterday about joining the no- fly zone effort. he spoke about what the united
states will not do. here is what he had to say. >> i want to be clear about what we will not be doing. the united states is not going to deploy ground troops into libya. we are not going to use force to go beyond a well-defined goal, specifically the protection of civilians in libya. in the coming weeks, we will continue to help the libyan people with humanitarian and economic assistance, so they can fulfill their aspirations peacefully. host: we want to get your thoughts this morning. here are the numbers. you can also contribute electronically this morning. you can send us an e-mail. or you can reach out to us on twitter.
we should honor the no-fly zone, because i think it would cause problems if we did not do anything. host: are you comfortable with the level of commitment we have made so far, or would you call for more? caller: i do not want to get involved. we have our fingers in too many pots are ready. host: dayton, ohio, democrats line. caller: we invaded iraq eight years ago. almost to the day. chris matthews -- chris hayes
was taking someone's place. none of them mentions that this is 80 years to the day that we invaded iraq based on false intelligence. we cannot do this again. egypt should lead the way. france should lead the way in regards to libya. for years we did not care about human rights, and now we care about human rights. i think we should let these other nations lisa the way. we have already invaded a country -- lead the way. we have already invaded a country under false information. thousands have been killed. here we are again with our noses in a country where we have
supported the dictator. the u.k., italy has support of this dictator. now we are all about human rights. it is insane. everybody is covering these protests in syria -- in tunisia, egypt. no one talks about the protests in palestine. you all leap right over that issue. i do not think we should lead the way. we can be part of a team effort. i understand that. host: we have someone on twitter this morning. he says it is more than a symbolic effort of the u.s.. caller: i tried to listen to the
different news sites. i tried to get a wide perspective. if you were going to move, you should have moved five or six days ago. there is so much hypocrisy in all of this. we have supported these dictators for decades. host: you made that point. thanks for calling in. republican line. caller: good morning. i would like to applaud president obama for saying that he will not deploy any troops. i believe that we should not have to police the world, in that we are playing a dangerous game of risk with the whole world. we need to gather ever troops in and be strong for our own country. i do believe we should be a
strong partner as part of the you in. we should maintain a humanitarian interest. that is my thought for this morning. host: in the "new york post" when a person from the heritage foundation says, the problem is that no air power is likely to prove decisive. gaithersburg, md., independent line. caller: i congratulate obama for his stand on this issue. i think he should go further and
completely refuse to get involved. this innovation will make obama look like bush doing the same thing, and take him away from his main concern, which should be taken care of the american problem, which i think many in the economy, lost jobs, and these kinds of things. number three, every arsenal that libya has was sold to them by france. [unintelligible] they have to find new weapons. this concerns me, because i am
from west africa. when we did -- we do not know who those rebels are, when they are done with gaddafi, those weapons will be falling into the hands of terrorists that will invade the rest of the continent into this region, including my country. all of the countries will be filled with terrorists who will get their weapons from those people that do not know what to do with their weapons. i think we should think twice about the issue. in the long term, what is it going to do for the region? [inaudible] host: the "new york post" has a
caller: just like i trusted the bush number one during the first iraq war, i trust the president also doing this decision that he is making about libya. i think our president is doing a wonderful job. it makes sense what he says. host: how would you answer the question of us getting involved. caller: a humanitarian effort. that is why i think the president is doing a good job. i trust his judgment.
he is a wonderful man. host: are you concerned about military officials saying you start doing one thing, but it leads to other things you have to be involved with? caller: with a war, you take steps, and you do not know what is going to happen the next week, the next day. if you are in the right cause of what you're doing -- he tried to do the right thing -- i heard a lady say that they are insane. no, she is insane. this is a humanitarian effort. maybe that is the way to lead some of our troops out of afghanistan. thank you c-span. host: the president spoke about this imposing a no-fly zone.
set up a government. there is a tank killing weapon that we have not used much reselling. i am sure we have more than enough to take care of that particular weapon that he has on the ground. we have all of the assets in place. this has to be done. on a scale of one to 10, hussein may be down on three. host: do you think this is one of the cases where you go in and do what you have to do, and go out? caller: yes, i do. as cleanly as possible, make it well known to the arab world that we are going in for a specific reason. once the government is set up
and any way we can help them, we will do it. we will not leave any big footprints. we cannot afford to do that. host: here is twitter. and more from president obama yesterday. he was warning gaddafi about the terms of the resolution set by the un. >> the resolution lays out clear conditions that must be met. the united states, the united kingdom, france, and arab states agreed that a cease-fire must be implemented immediately. that means all attacks against civilians must stop. gaddafi must stop his troops from advancing, pull them back,
and establish water, electricity, and gas to supply all of the areas. humanitarian assistance must be allowed to reach the people of libya. let me be clear. these terms are not negotiable. they are not subject to negotiation. if gaddafi does not comply with the resolution, the international community will impose consequences. the resolution will be enforced through military action. host: if you want to participate for the next 25 minutes or so, give us a call. you can send us an e-mail for comment on twitter. maryland, in the pan . -- independent line. caller: i am for america going
in to help with this war. if you know your bible, it tells you all about it in ezekiel 37, 38, and 39, what is going to happen. host: how does it play into libya? caller: they will come from the north, the south, the east, and the west. host: democrats line. caller: we have to be very careful. look at a country and what they are doing to the palestinians. we have to be ready.
we have to look at the no-fly zone. we need to look at what is happening. [unintelligible] if we do it for the palestinian region, we should do it for this the same. host: how are you with the stance we have taken? caller: if we are doing it for humanitarian reasons, the finale. [unintelligible] we have to do it for the israelis, the saudis.
host: would you approve it if we had to step up our involvement? caller: you have to be very careful about sending in ground troops. you know some countries that are not going to back up. host: this is off of twitter. michigan, republican line. caller: good morning. you are the finest of c-span. thanks for taking my call.
my comment is i believe our government should concentrate on reinvesting in to the people of the united states. i am concerned about public t be and radio. [unintelligible] colonel gaddafi should leave today. notwithstanding the resolution of the 1973. i disagree with the president's assessment of the radiation coming to america. have a good day. host: arizona, independent line. caller: you aired a show of the
leaders of the opposition. this is not a civil war. they are not a troubled nation. people need to stop saying civil war. we propped up everybody all along. we gave them enough time to do what gaddafi did. he brought in these outside people and slaughtered the people. i heard there were 1000 people dead. that was a month ago. how many are dead now? he is murdering his people. these people have seen the way we live through twitter and facebook. they want democracy. why are we giving billions? it is because of oil. time to rebuild a solar.
we can do this by giving people each $5,000 to join forces. let them buy out extinct businesses. we can put our own people back to work and get off of nuclear and other things that are going to kill all of us. i live in arizona. i want to get every damn thing that california gets. ho here is host: here is a comment from alabama. next caller. caller: i am not in support of our involvement.
we are already involved in two wars. i do not think we need to be involved in a third war. i do not think we can afford it. we are concerned about the message that it may send to other so-called allies around the world. remember after we became involved in iraq, gaddafi changed his mind regarding the weapons of mass destruction. it is my recollection that he gave up the nuclear program and what not. to some degree, he was cooperating with us. he gets involved with conflict and we just completely turn on him, 180.
now we are in this situation. host: this is from twitter. palm coast, fla., independent line. caller: there seems to be a lot of people informed on the iraqi invasion. i wish they would watch a forum. it tells about the information concerning the war and it was prescribed by the bush should ministration. host: how do you apply that to what is going on in libya right now? caller: it is the same thing. we are hypocrites.
the head of the nuclear commission will be our guest on our newsmakers program. you can watch it tomorrow starting at 10:00. he will take questions from reporters concerning what is going on. that program is 10:00 tomorrow morning in the 6:00 tomorrow evening on c-span. he will talk about the latest stemming from what is going on in japan. maryland, republican line. caller: i think we are being hypocrites. we say nothing about israel.
them killing innocent palestinian men, women, and children. we give them billions of dollars and ask them to stop building settlements. they tell us to go to hell. i think we are doing a good thing to put more pressure on gaddafi. host: are you comfortable with the level of involvement right now? caller: yes. host: ohio, democrats line. caller: what are we going to do if they knock down some of our pilots? are we going to see water bordering over there? what will we do with collateral damage? i have no idea on how i would
answer my own question. i am thinking about somalia. host: that was from cincinnati, ohio. former secretary of state passed away. here is a story from the associated press. a spokesperson from his law firm says he was 85. he died in his home in los angeles with complications from bladder and kidney cancer. he also supervised the recount in florida. as he prepared to step down, his
secretary asked who would pick up the baton. the former secretary of state warren christopher has passed away. we will take another call. this is from detroit, michigan. caller: what is the difference between what is going on in libya and yemen and bahrain? snipers are on rooftops killed 24 people. what is the outrage on that? where is the you in on that? where is obama on that? i think this libyan adventure is a mistake. we need to get our noses out of the whole area. host: there are pictures this morning in the washington post.
protesters in yemen. security forces opened fire on protesters there. many governments declared a state of emergency. that is a photo of what the caller mentioned and what you're saying in papers this morning. alabama, in the pan . -- independent line. caller: i think it is a mistake. this is why people elected obama. he ran on getting out of these kinds of things. for him to turn around and get involved in a third conflict in the middle east -- i did not vote for him. if i had, i would be very angry at this point. to get involved in another
conflict, we should not be involved in this. host: hartford, conn. -- i am sorry, and north carolina. democrats line. caller: i want everyone to listen to me real good. we are supposed to be broke. we don't have any money. we have to cut money for programs for the school and home care. we are not able to get care for the old people. we are broke, but here they go again. we have no business in anyone else's business, if we are broke. somebody is not telling the truth. obama ran on this kind of mess.
this is the same thing that the republican party wants him to do. if he wants to get elected again, he needs to straighten up and fly right. getting in other people's business is not our sought -- style. he ran on peace. leave those people alone. they will work it out. thank you. host: a story in the "new york times but what about what occurred in egypt.
happening in libya. and we have the obligation to make this world a better place. i think we have an obligation as human beings to deploy. in the absence of that, -- libya by disrupting the flow of oil, [unintelligible] it will cost us more. this is very limited. this is a humanitarian and world obligation.
good morning. caller: i voted for obama the first time. i will not vote for him a second time. if they can get obama out there -- they have no idea on how to run a country. they can come in and take total control. during the civil-rights movement, the u.s. government was beating the democrats over the head. they said they would send troops in to stop them from doing that. gues[unintelligible] they interviewed the people fighting for libya?
i do not know if they had given a fair assessment of what colonel gaddafi has been saying. the u.s. is in there for the oil strickland. , whyon't these countries don't they go in there and defend those countries when they did not have any oil? when genocide takes place, why did not they go in and help them? thank you. host: one person says gaddafi may lash out with more terrorist attacks.
connecticut. caller: i hope you will give me a moment. we are becoming a superpower. we are in over 140 countries with our military. i think this country is right for a selfless, highly nationalistic presidential candidates. we have to stop exercising our excess of compassion, pathological compassion. we cannot do everything for all people.
let me give you a couple of short stories. host: it is not just the u.s. involved. caller: i agree with the president on that. i do not like the president. his standing back a little bit. this is quick. granma told a story about a guy that cut his finger off on a machine. he went to the foreman who asked how you did this. the worker puts another figure in the same place with the same result. -- figure in the same place with the same result. finger in the same place
with the same result. and one man put a dollar down for a pretzel. and the car lady said the that that the price went up. that pretty much shows the law. host: kansas. caller: i think we are doing the right thing. host: why is it the right thing? caller: when gaddafi turned his guns on his own people -- i no longer admire him. host: republican line. caller: the fact is it is costing everybody a lot of money out there. it is really simple. charged them oil for the
services. fangs. -- thanks. host: we will have a certified accountant to discuss your tax questions. that will be at 9:15. later on, we will talk about travel in the united states and how to streamline the process. we will continue our discussions with libya. a staff writer for a publication will join us right after this break. ♪alle
>> this weekend on a road to the white house, a presidential candidate on the economy spiraling downward and whether he will run for the republican nomination. >> the feedback we have gotten from people across this country, the tens of thousands who are willing to volunteer. >> this sunday at 6:00 27:30 p.m., eastern. >> in the 1960's and '70's, we were writing off urban america. >> major business leaders making to keep at the center these business cities. >> nyc became the gateway for
the economy and has cost ever since. >> watch the rest of the interview sunday night on "q&a." >> this weekend on book tv on c- 2.an questions on whether president obama wrote his memoirs. and some high-level pentagon insiders take a critical look at how the defense department operates. look for the complete schedule on the website. to have our schedule e-mail directly to you, and for our book tv alert. >> on american history tv on c- span3, authors offering insights on to why the south
seceded from the union. and they will talk about the rise and fall of one of the leaders of enron. and the subsequent reform of labour. and reflects on the terrorist attacks of 9/11. for the complete weekend schedule, go to c-span.org /history. host: joining us to discuss this, josh rogin. guest: we have seen a shift in the obama administration to the revolutionary events going on in the middle east.
we have seen some that have supported these movements in many ways, but stop short of using american military power and intervention. on tuesday night, the white house had a meeting and they came to the decision that the humanitarian situation and potential for regional unrest mandated international use of force. it looks like they are about to use that support. that is where we are. >> here is the president from yesterday talking about the international community. >> in the face of this injustice, the international community must move swiftly. the un security council impose
further sanctions. an arms embargo. international accountability for gaddafi and those around him. the humanitarian assistance was positions on the borders. those hit by the violence have received their health. ample warnings was given to the doctor needs to stop the campaign of repression or be held accountable. -- that colonel gaddafi needs to andp the campaign of 0 pressur oppression or be held accountable. guest: the idea is to 80 the
opposition. they will have a greater opportunity to overthrow the gaddafi regime. -- eightaid the opposition. they will have a greater opportunity to overthrow the gaddafi regime. host: we are drawing comparisons to the iraq war and the the first portion 1991. how you look get those in light of what is happening now and the potential to become one or the other? guest: the parallels -- the difference that the administration will point you to is the obama administration worst for and achieved a multilateral incentives, the arab league, nato.
that is the biggest difference. they went with a coalition of the willing. what are the similarities? these regimes that are attacking address an imminent threat to the united states national interests. there is the humanitarian argument, the responsibility to protect. they are being slaughtered by their own government. the international community has some responsibility to go and intervene. obama seems to be using the international support. the risk of instability threatening the region.
neither of these point to an imminent threat of the united states. it is different cell top administration officials came out. secretary of state clinton, traveling in egypt and tunisia, decided to support intervention in the libya. defense secretary robert gates was not supporting it according to our resources. host: the intellectual and military sites were coming at odds over this. guest: something humanitarian
grounds are enough. some believe the u.s. military is too overburdened and there is not enough reason to send americans in. some leaders took the position, and it is remarkable. they will use resources to achieve a humanitarian goal. host: he rides for foreign policy magazine. -- writes for foreign policy magazine. here is how you can talk to him. here are the numbers at the bottom of your screen.
you can send us an e-mail or a tweet. first caller calif., independent line. caller: hello. i think this should go through congress. it is unconstitutional. if we want to talk about humanitarian rights, what about the people being enslaved in our country here? for the drug cartels in mexico? they should have a no-fly zone over mexico. these people are invading our country. host: thanks for your call. a ranking republican said if we were going to go this way, we should have gone through congress. guest: he said some interesting
things. the economy is in such a place that we cannot afford a military operation. we have not had a national debate on whether or not this is a good idea. president obama invited a group of congressmen to the white house, made out a plan, none of objected in the meeting except for this senator. acquiescence is not universal. many of the new tea party members will not be enthusiastic about having military in libya.
congress has not had a chance to have this debate. it will come. host: will this be topic number one when they return? guest: it has to be. many senators emerged from this meeting very happy. a group of conservative senators think we should have went in weeks ago. many have questions. they will only grow as the results start to come in. host: sarasota, fla., democrats line. caller: mr. obama lost my vote as a democrat.
this guy turned his weapon against this people. mr. obama did not say something about one thing. the united states, france, and a one have been standing on the sidelines while this guy turns his weapons on his own people. not long ago, some people from al qaeda, they had the threats, and terrorism. now they rallied it used to be held every year, they transfer its to argentina. it is because of al qaeda in
west africa. guest: i have heard what makes libya much different from these other regimes around the world urging their own people and they are not getting backing from the international community? it is a very important point. yesterday, the senator said what about yemen? the response is colonel gaddafi into libya -- in bolivia has instituted much widespread brutality. -- and libya have instituted a much more widespread brutality. -- the administration and the allies for betraying the policy
will have to explain this. they will have to make the distinction of what about north korea. they may have to extend the doctrine so that it includes people in distress. host: have they said anything specific about the rebels involved? guest: there are efforts to reach out to the opposition. and then behind the scenes, they need to get them a. -- vet them. this speaks to the speed of the response and the overall lack of clarity about what is going on the ground.
the white house is the tiller and the state house is scrambling to make up the ground. there is a real concern that we do not know who we are dealing with and what we will end up when they adopt a pulse. i am concerned about mission creep. main because i think we are assuming that the arab street is a monolithic. it is not. it is comprised of the sunni and shiite. obama has already said there will be no boots on the ground, so that as a strong signal to adopt a that he can still put
the brutality out there. for me, it comes down to this -- how many american lives is libya worth? for me is at 0. guest: mission creep is another important issue. before you know it, you are doing a seven things and then 100 things. it is a risk. obama has addressed that directly by limiting the mission. he will not put notes on the ground. he will even limit that we will not topple gaddafi. we're simply protecting the civilians to give them the opportunity. they are very aware of the issue of mission creep. whether they can control it is another thing. we have been discussing a no-fly zone, the nine the libyan military planes the right to
fly embalm their own civilians. " we ask for in the united nations was much more expensive. it allowed allied forces to do whatever necessary to achieve this. u.s. officials said that they would bomb the trucks of the libyan military as they approach the civilians. that is already mission creep. on a conference call it yesterday, one senior administration official talked about a no-sale zone. -- no-sail zone. mission creep is already happening. if they can limit that is something that we will have to watch. host: it is a sterling --
curtailing without putting books on the ground. guest: in the past, no-fly zones have not achieved his goal. we can go back to the no-fly zone over iraq for the last three years. the one that we had in the balkans in the late 1990's, which eventually turned into a bombing campaign, and then into boots on the ground. in the balkans, it achieved the objective. the no-fly zone did not. if you want to be cynical, someone said that the no-fly zone allowed everyone to get on the same page in terms of something we could all do together. and once the international community had committed to that, it was very hard to not take the next step. whatever else we have. host: charlotte, north carolina,
you're on with josh rogin, the democratic line, good morning. caller: i agree with what obama is doing, going to libya. here is what troubles me. the gentleman you had on during the first segment this morning, complaining and saying that we are broke, hey. all like to know, is it true that we are spending zero hundred dollars a gallon in the fuel that goes into our military equipment? -- $400 a gallon in the field it goes into our military equipment? is that really true? guest: i do not know the exact price of gas for military fuel but it is a big situation. a lot of these figures come from the war in the iraq, and the war in afghanistan, where the cost
of a gallon of gas is calculated as the total cost, getting it there, protecting it, shipping across the world, pay in the contracting fees. it is up function of the war, not the greater pressures on the economy. but are we broke? of course the nation has huge fiscal debt and problems. it is a matter of debate with the that imminently should prevent us from doing things that are in the national interest. in the case of libya, many say that its cost is not enough to dissuade the international community if they believe it is in the international interest to proceed. host: the associated press reporting that allies will meet in paris. who calls the shots on this? guest: the meeting is starting right about now in paris. hillary clinton is there, so we
have a situation where france and britain are in the lead, at the same time america is demonstrating leadership by providing the majority of assets in the beginning of the operation, and -- because we have the capability that european countries just cannot bring to bear. nato will have command-and- control. of operation will be run out of sicily. it really is a team effort. what the white house wants us to know and to think is that the arab countries and france and britain will eventually be in control of this mission as it moves from an attack to a no-fly zone to enforcement of the arms embargo, which could last who knows how long. but in the beginning, we are the only ones that can perform the by let military operations to clear the ground.
i think it will be an interesting dynamic, we have the french, the british, the arab league, and united states all there. host: as far as them, what are their interest overall? guest: their interests are much more direct and out. but richer only a few miles off the coast of libya. they believe that the instability directly affects them. the british believe that it could spread through europe. britain has a lot of extensive ties with libya and legitimate economic issues. the arab league is paramount here. we might have four the five arab countries participating in this enforcement of the arms embargo and perhaps the no-fly zone against another arab country. that is remarkable. their interest may be conflicted that many arab countries have
longstanding gripes with gaddafi and the libyan government dating back decades. it is a very interesting tangled web of interest. one of the things that has affected the obama administration most of all is the realization that the u.s. interest may be is not as much as some of these other countries, but part of the u.s. role in global leadership mandates that we participate at a leadership level. host: lewis, a republican line, west palm beach, florida. caller: i have to say that i like you're here. i have three important things to. -- your hair. i have three important things to point out. the united states unconditional support for the nation of israel which is in violation of human regulations. of course the second thing i want to point out, the concept
-- the unconditional support for saudi arabia run by a a family which brutalizes its own people. the third contradiction i want to point out is that united states role in somalia, which was a peaceful mission which turned into the brutal slaughter of many somalis and resulted in the air force base built by the united states. i like you to reflect on those three. guest: let me say something -- let me try to say something intelligent about it to the. unconditional support for israel -- i would not say unconditional, but there is no doubt that israel is a major u.s. ally and has been in the region for i long time. that is not about to change. there are a long variety of reasons for that. if you looked at the uprisings around arab world, and even libya, israel is the really part of the discussion one way or the
other. the administration came in with the idea of linking, saw the israeli-arab conflict and that will lead to peace in the region. but that does not happen. people are clamoring for rights and democracy and a greater say in their own future. israel cleverly has stayed out of this. you do not see them making statements about that it one where the other. this is not about israel. the alliance is controversy over many reasons, and it is a great topic for another discussion. the u.s. unconditional support for saudi arabia, that is actually directly related. saudi arabia is moving massive amounts of military assets that they purchase from the united states into bahrain, which
could be used to attack innocent civilians by next to u.s. military base. this is actually an important relationship. the bottom line is that the u.s. is very, very wherry of sending a signal to our allies that if you get into trouble, we will abandon you. this is the trouble in egypt and bahrain and yemen. there has been some unrest in saudi arabia and it could be a big problem. saudi arabia is the 800 pound gorilla in the region. we cannot afford to abandon our relationship with them for a whole host of reasons. this is part of the realignment of our issues and values, he wants to swear them. it is not easy. some mali is a great place to bring up. it is the nightmare nightmare
for libya. it is the downside that we have not heard a lot about. we have heard a lot of foul it is successful. what happens if it is not? it get out the control part of the country but not all that cut -- if gaddafi controls part of the country but not all of it, it leads to terrorism, you name it -- it is a risk should not be ignored and should be discussed. we hope that libya does not become somalia host: democrats line, leonard from new jersey. caller: the decision has been made by the united nations and the member nations to take this action. they did not say the united states had to take this action. why is it automatically the united states who needs to do
this? i think the next discussion by the un, who should do it and when? it is obvious they could do this air coverage from their own line. why has it not happen that way? guest: a perfectly legitimate question. for the initial set of military operations, the u.s. military is the best prepared and the best resource and the best trained in the world and in this situation, there's no way around it. for many parts of this operation, france and britain in the arab league do not have the capabilities. if you want to step back and look at a more philosophical level, we have a choice to make. as the united states, if we want to be an active supporter of this revolution in the arab world, if we've won -- or if we
want to be a bystander and see this export to other countries, that is a choice that we can debate and come to a conclusion on. for now the obama administration has decided that american leadership in this huge wave of revolution is important. he wants to maintain debt initiative with american leadership. a majority of people in congress agree with him. that is the course that he has charted. that is the road will run today. host: the potential future of the course. what happens if gaddafi does not listen? guest: another wonderful question, something not explained in yesterday's press conference. it this does seem like he will leave under its own power. " we are likely to see -- it
does not seem likely he will leave under his own power. what we are likely to see is that people talk about a million man march to tripoli, that could go either way. what happens if that does not work? do we then let that i feast day? or let's say that gaddafi agree to the cease-fire and stop attacking civilians and is satisfied to remain in tripoli? do we let him sit there because he met the demands? we do not know. we do not know what we're going to do. those decisions have not been made. obama has said gaddafi must go. it will make him impossible to accept any situation where gaddafi remains in power. >> you refer back to the usual phrase of we will let the people
decide what happens as far as the room future is concerned. which we've heard before the situation. >> that is what we heard in egypt. it is up to you, and if you come to agreement with your government, willing to make reform and except that reform, that is perfectly fine with us. that is what has been set to the government and bahrain, in yemen, in saudi arabia. this is a very savvy approach because it encourages but the people to come to the table and the governments. the argument is that if you get out ahead of these protests, these groups come and make the reforms and show a willingness to change, we will support your continued rule. the problem in libya is that gaddafi is trying not to make any concessions. he is only getting more violent as the days go on.
host: libya gained independence in 1951, and in 1959 -- 1969, muammar gaddafi 8 gain control in the military coup. next call is mount rainier, md.. caller: when i heard president obama to announce libya up for killing innocent people and then invoke the rule of law to justify his participation, i saw red. when he got into office, he had 55 attacks against pakistan, hundreds of innocent billions, he took the peace prize and then escalated even further, 124 more attacks. these people were not bothering
any americans. hillis he did talk about innocent people? and his seed to invoke the rule of law? when did congress to care law war on pakistan. guest: a star with pakistan, it is true that obama had a tax in pakistan. this was done with conjunction with the pakistan government. and they did kill hundreds of innocent people, it cannot be denied. obama did escalate the war in afghanistan. i'm sure many innocent people will continue to die from that. but there is a distinction here. and when you talk about the rule of law, let's talk about it. obama went to the united nations security council and the solder resolution and that she did for the authorization of the use of force in libya. in afghanistan and pakistan, there is a whole history of
diplomacy in litigation that establishes a framework for those operations, as opposed to gaddafi. i think that is a huge distinction. it is not to say that obama has not altered his messaging on the use of force from when he came in to the presidency. candidate obama was a very vocal critic of using force in a iraq and to a certain extent in afghanistan. he said many times that the president must seek authorization from congress before using force with the american military. he did not do that this time. congress protect congressional prerogatives and the president protect executive prerogative. experience has shown to him a new perspective which leads to
all the new decisions. host: al jazeera showing video of leaders at arriving in paris. nicholas sarkozy of greeting them there. caller: of wanted to comment on the comparisons between iraq and libya. sit down the same killed hundreds of thousands of his own people, cast his own people, paid it terrorists from palestine to attack israel, paid the family $25,000. so far we have no evidence lately that gaddafi has done anything other than attacking the people that are fighting him. i want to know like george bush was so criticized by everybody from going and, he said it was
humanitarian, to stop the mass murder in iraq but it is ok for obama to go into libya to stop qadhafi? thank you. about thise talked comparison a little bit. george bush was criticized for going into a rat, a few reasons. the justification for the use of force largely did not pan out. the wm deep connections to al qaeda, the word the most glaring inconsistencies with the historical record. the other reason is that this was seen as a unilateral decision by the bush administration. this is a distinction that the obama administration is sure to drive home in the coming weeks. as for the fact that libya has not been engaged that we know
of an international terrorism against american citizens, that is quite true. the last time we attack libya in 1986, that was in response to a wave of bombings, a german discotheque, there were some very concrete examples of the killing of americans and western citizens, but obama is not making that argument. he is making a based on humanitarian aid, protecting people being massacred by their own government, and in the context of a larger wave of democracy and human rights. you can see that sweeping to the region. he is making the decision that all these events are connected. we have to support these people's aspirations to live under racine this does not slaughter them indiscriminately. the justifications are
different, the situation's a different, the president is different, the process is different, but there is so much about the right or. . let us look at the libyan war in its own context and look at the arguments. host: what is history tell us about a discussion, especially when the support is announced, and when we might see actual military action? guest: these events are unfolding so rapidly, history may not be of major guide for that. we're talking 30 days since the uprising began. that is a remarkably fast period for bringing an international committee together to agree to support in the first place. we're seeing that these operations will begin in days, not weak. the air force believe that it can be set up within a week or
so. president obama made the lead -- may believe that the rigid the military positioning is going on right now. he did not give an ultimatum on when gaddafi has to agree to resolution. they are proceeding as if we will not and they are planning that. i would say a vote within 72-96 hours. host: marsh filled, wisconsin, the democratic line. caller: i do not like the fact that we're going in, and that president obama has made the statements that we're going to support the rebels. i guess we have to. i just cannot really -- maybe we should've gone in the sudan,
but this is different because he is attacking rebels. i think there is a history context here i was reading about the history of the world, and there's a connection of the american revolution, it was not the only revolution happening around. there was the french revolution, so perhaps this is a new revolution going on around the middle eastern world. historians will put that together. thank you for a much. guest: no doubt that this is an historic wave of revolution sweeping throughout the middle east and the airport. it is simply unprecedented. these events are connected. certainly the obama administration believes they are connected and certainly the people in the region believe that.
the problem is that what we have seen is a learning curve. on both sides of this revolution, on the side of the government of oppressing the people, it seems that these governments were very responsive to the pressures and eventually had to seize power in the way " overwhelming support with their popular revolutions in their country. what we see in the last couple of weeks our responses with violence. they come to this conclusion that the best way is to crack down, that is what we see in bahrain, yemen, and now libya. in the long run, those of us think that the struggle for freedom and human rights will win out in the end.
whether always in each country is an open question. host: arizona, independent line. caller: i have a question. [unintelligible] now they're calling for a no-fly zone. [unintelligible] a no-fly zone of being against gaddafi. host: one more call from the independent line. caller: a big fan of yours. all of the debate cannot be seen as meaningless. he cannot defy history.
he threw the paper on the floor of the un as a sign of disrespect. [unintelligible] 90% of his military is from syria and other african nations. he will be back sponsoring terrorism. this is the man that bombed pan am 103. and by the way, it is arabic nations, not arab nations. host: go-ahead. guest: but start with less pliable lives. that is that the in the chair will hear more and more as the center engine escalates. you can make that argument for
almost any situation where people are living under and around this conditions and not getting the support of international military. our north korean lives worse less than arab lives? no one believes that. but the international community does not intervene based on ethnicity, but on interest. what is our interest there and the interest of the country attacking and what is the impact of the suffering on the people, not just in their own country but on the region and the world. in this case, the calculation has been made that the combination of the suffering of these innocent people and the international interests raises the threshold of international military relations. that is what is under debate today. as for the fact that gaddafi has
a defied u.n. resolutions, yes, there is no doubt that the initial plan to impose economic sanctions and diplomatic pressure was not to drive him from power. but this plan is that necessarily. it is not even decide to drive him from power. this represents the crux of the problem of libya. all the traditional incremental strategies, tactics, whatever you want to call them to influence the thinking of a regime, or just one man, do not apply. colonel gaddafi is not accessible to this type of question. he is raising the stakes. we are also raising the stakes and escalating it. it is not clear where the breaking point bank is.
but one side will have to win now, and the question is what the the international community has the will, the resources, for what may become a prolonged to engagement against a very strong and at the same time of morally corrupt regime. host: if you could our website, there is a lot of information there. guest: this is "foreign policy" magazine. we try to give you an insight into the people behind the job. they did a great job of putting together some of the photos of the gaddafi family throughout the years. i think it will be an interesting look into the lives of the people there.
the next thing is waiting to see what will happen at the paris meeting. the degree of libyan reaction is not the focus. frankly, statements from the libyan regime are not being processed as constructive input into this decision making. the bottom line here -- who does. when? who strikes first? who has the role of protecting the civilians? what is the arab league involvement? what is nato's involvement? these are huge question. and this is happening so fast that we do not know what will be big news story to mark, but it will be huge. host: "foreign policy" is ft.com josh rogin, thank you for your
time. later, we will lead informational making your tax preparations. but our next segment takes a look at airports security. geoffrey freeman will talk about a new report calling for the resumption of the program to help boarding faster. especially if you are a frequent fryer. we will take up that discussion after we take a look at the week with political cartoons.
many cemented documentary is focusing on an event, at issue, or topic that help them better understand the role of the federal government. watch the winning videos at c- span, and i watched them online at studentcam.org. >> the president and the administration believes that we have to look closely at the events in japan. as we said before, we have to apply whatever lessons that can and will be learned. >> steven chu and others work on capitol hill testifying on the 2012 fiscal budget following the earthquake in japan. watch the complete hearing now online at the c-span video library. search, watch, click, and share -- is washington your way.
>> "washington journal" continues. host: joining us now is geoffrey freeman, the executive vice president of the u.s. travel association. guest: it represents all interests of the travel industry, airlines, hotels, major destinations around the country, all aspects of the travel industry. host: what the people say about the ease of boarding and airline these days? guest: it has not been as comfortable as it once was. we're seeing a real decline in travel, surveys show that the hassle factor is leading more people not to do it. there is a hassle factor domestically. the air travel experience as anyone will attest has gone downhill in recent years. travelers put their finger on
the security screening experience. we could be more productive with our time. they think they should be entitled to a different experience. that fact is that this one size fits all security screening experience is probably not the most efficient use of resources. host: t mean that everyone gets to go through the machine, that sort of stuff? guest: tom ridge, the first homeland security secretary, said that we treat everyone as a terrorist. and most have no intention of doing harm to anyone. but this leads to long lines, instability, and we see people getting to the airport much earlier than they need to become a leading to a decline in productivity. travelers as saying that the country has put a man on the moon. let's figure out how to do this and more efficient matter.
host: is that dealing with the machines are the actual people? guest: the efficiency is all aspects of the system. it is good that we have layers, but we need to risk management. many travelers have been traveling for years, no criminal records, and they have done a background check, of biometrics check, they have done an interview with the u.s. official -- we have done all the checks that we need to do. we should not invest as much people time but that person. host: if that is true, what would you say for people who would bring up people like the underwear bomber who got on to an airline but was stopped short? guest: when you look at him, he abused the process. there were some issues and problems with him and that should have been dealt with during the visa process. but what we're talking about is
domestically. looking at american citizens who are voluntarily are willing to provide information about themselves to get a different experience. what we have heard from frequent travelers is that i would give my right arm for a different experience. 67% said they would voluntarily provide whatever affirmation the government needs to convince them that i will wish no one any harm. host: your organization is put out a report which has called for the extension of the trusted travel program. guest: it calls for the creation of it. we've never really gone down the road. as a calling for a voluntary system. we talked about secretary ridge, jim turner a democrat, a bipartisan approach to give travelers the options of providing a background check,
and look into other aspects, and form an algorithm that would say that this person is not a threat and then we will get an alternative experience. if people get off scot-free? absolutely not. but they will have a speedier and more predictable process. our economy is struggling. if we want to get back on track, we had to accept that -- air travel is the gateway of commerce. some people are losing two to three travels a year. host: what did they get in return? less hassle? guest: a more predictable and streamlined process, less of a hassle. instead of having the line if you have to date, instead of the inefficiencies, we're taking our shoes off, taking a laptop at the back, taking the lead
without, the whole rigmarole, much of that you would not have to go through. host: talking about this proposal, which you can find on our web site if you want to read it for yourself. answer some questions on the proposal and that kind of thing. if you want to talk to him, (202) 737-0002 for democrats, (202) 737-0001 for republicans, (202) 628-0205 for independents. we've set up a separate line for frequent travelers. if you want a question for him, if you can do so at (202) 628- 0184. a graphic included in the report lays out three tracks when it comes to people going through security laws.
one is that physical review, one is the imaging review, and what is the trust a traveler. guest: well we have learned in recent months when you look at events around thanksgiving and christmas, travelers have many concerns about their civil liberties, and they want options. that is what travelers are looking for. sermon now willing to provide information about themselves in a dance. some are not willing to go through a full body scanner. there for those travelers should have that option. you'll probably get a more physical and invasive screening. other travelers are saying, i am not concerned about the scandal would look at my body. i am willing to do that. still other challengers say, i'll give every piece of the affirmation i possibly can. i travel quite true times a week. let me go through this or steam line process. the fact is, is a system that works for all of us.
the budget of the gsa has increased by 70%, for pork -- 4. bayh be a dollars to $7 billion a year. over that same period, the number of air travelers in the united states has essentially been flat. we are on an unsustainable course. >> walking us through trusted traveler, it starts with less intervention beginning, but they go through kiosks. guest: we americans coming back into the country from overseas. there is up process called global entry. you do not have to meet with a customs officer unless there is a random search. you provide your fingerprint, you're right the skin, other aspects about yourself that you provided before your departure. then you get let through. you have done the interview, provided your fingerprints
coming rise in. you go to a buy a metric check and prove you are who you say you are. the next thing you go through is all leading your shoes on in your bag, a year ago through a magnetometer. k-9 units for explosives, but the experienced the client feels is more streamlined beneficial which is inefficient. host: jim, good morning. he has let this. houston, go ahead. caller: thank you for taking my call. i think the ball into the last category. host: go-ahead. caller: i would be more in willing to go through the ground checked voluntarily. that is the more libertarian way in which you're not mandated to do something. i am leaving on a trip today.
i travel about 10 to 12 days a year. it is become an absolute nightmare. have actually missed flights because of what i had to wait with the psa. it is not a pleasant experience. you're in that losing times all the day standing in line. i thought the solution would be the metal detector and dogs, really searching every single person trying to get on the airplane, but that does not make any sense. earnings the government with gsa employees that will be unionized. i really think that he is successful. we can use frequent fliers to lobby congress to change the laws and allow this voluntary background check by the government. i would welcome that. host: how long you have to wait
on average? caller: it varies, it depends on the airport. it by american national, there is no telling. if i am at houston intercontinental, or hobby airport in houston, you can wait for 40-45 minutes. host: thank you for the input. guest: the fact that he and other travelers are avoiding just because of the hassle factor, as someone who represents the travel industry, we cannot afford to lose customers right now because the supply chain is not working. we need to make sure that that is streamlined and efficient. we cannot discourage people from traveling. we will pay a heavy price. host: douglas from maryland. caller: i work for the federal
government, and i am in law enforcement. what happens, we get screen just as much as the rest of the guys. we have no way of going through. they started a program about law enforcement, but there has not been that. guest: we certainly need these programs to receive -- to succeed. they not taken off because of the concern in the issue of the airlines, the airports, the ps tsa. profits have been an obstacle when you look at the lines and what they would like to do with first-class travelers. host: st. cloud minnesota, republican line. caller: thank god for c-span. i've just recently went to
orlando. my son lives there. i let my newly purchased four- year ago luggage at the house. i got cardboard boxes and drop them in the mail. i carried nothing. when i got ready to leave, we drove it over to ups and sit back. it cost $35 a box. i have got to drag the luggage and stand in line. but to step in a box and send it ups or fedex. you'll get to the line a lot faster. your clothes are delivered to where you're going. host: you have no carry on? caller: i do have to carry on, my wife passed have cosmetics,
but that is about it. i have sat in my seat with nothing. it cost me less money than going to the airport. and i do not have to stand and aligned with -- if they are doing the same thing anyway. guest: i just came back from orlando. there is a trend in the travel industry. more people shipping their luggage ahead of time. there are some other innovative things that will take care of a lot of your luggage for you if you're going to orlando and other destinations. no doubt that the market is trying to adapt for baggage fees. that travelers looking for different approaches. we recommend that travelers be
permitted as part of the contract of carriage with the airline come out one checked bag at no additional charge. sissy's baggage peace of god and the place, there's been a 50% increase in the number of bags coming through security checkpoints at cost of nearly $300 million to taxpayers. you cannot ignore the role that is playing in the security screening process. we need to better align the incentives to not overwhelm the checkpoints. host: pa., on our independent line. caller: this whole thing, it is like politically correct, isn't that basically i could auditioning drill to get the people comfortable with having their rights totally violated,
people searching them, it just to travel? guest: i would be remiss if i did not say, we all like to put our finger at tsa, but the real problem is congress. it is the opposite of risk management. congress has set a tone if that anything gets through anytime, tsa has failed. americans are smarter than that. americans won a more efficient process, for the planes to stay in the sky, and to land safely. this is completely counter- productive and leads to a system where tsa is taking the pendulum to the farthest security point with less regard for efficiency.
we understand that certain travelers pose less of a threat than others. let's focus our energies on those who have not provided as much information. the responsibility lies with congress. if you are an elected official, you think the political risks of something-happening is far greater than the political risks of a lot of people being in bull -- americans have not spoken up as yet. a review of this 10 years later, we are smarter than the games we're playing today. let's get more efficient and let it be more productive, how we get more americans traveling. the concern on capitol hill is that political consequences to me are too great if anything bad happens.
host: as far as calls on this program, is anything being advocated for that? guest: we had a proposal earlier this week. we had extensive conversations with the obama administration and capitol hill. we are working with people on the house and senate side who are embracing these ideas. we hope than in the next couple of months, they will be a lot more discussion on this. let's have the debate. we have not taken a hard look at these issues and 10 years. let's have that debate. host: 9/11 seems to be why people do not want to switch over to what you're talking about. guest: that years of anything negative happening is a great challenge. every week in turn on the television and see a new story of something that somebody got
through tsa. recently the coverage was about someone who got box cutters through tsa. the fact is that the carpet -- cockpit door had been hardened. the staff will not let people do what happened on 9/11. if we continue to hold tsa hostage to this idea of any think it through, we will get is lower the common denominator approach where they did not manage risk but they live in this that is a land where we can eliminate all risk. it simply cannot help but -- happen. caller: i travel about 200,000 miles a year, a lot of flights.
i don't find the process all that daunting. anyone who travels as much as i do or people who travel more, which tend to be parts of frequent flier programs and get it a breeze to security. i do not think i wait more than 10 minutes at the most in a security line. and that is if i do not go through the preferred passenger line. anything that can make the process more efficient is a great thing. i will grant that report and read it on a seven-hour flight about to get on right now. guest: it will give you plenty of time to sleep. it is dense and needy, but we appreciate you taking time to do that. and he is one of the 33% who are not so dissatisfied.
they put him in a first-class lining give him a different experience. the problem with that is that we have made it more of a class system based purely on the frequency of your travel and how much money you are willing to pay. in reality, the security check points should be about security. it's not how much you have paid. a frequent the -- how frequently you ply is only one aspect of your security credentials. you can focus on additional information and why you should not be the denominator there. host: massachusetts geoffrey freeman of the u.s. travel association. caller: what i hear is that they are being over scrutinized. you see them groping 5-year-old. up 5-year-old is not a
terrorist. to giving up more rights, what is next? you want more rights taken away and the people and that is wrong. tsa are wrong. these body scanners are wrong. you go to find all this information on infowars.com, all the articles that tsa is wrong and should be abolished. >> everyone's want to be secure when they travel by air. a couple of points of may. tsa is responsive to congress. we all understand the it frustration that travelers have what the particular officer or the experience they go through on that day. we can easily. the finger at tsa, asked the question, why are they acting the way they are?
we have a congress that has put us in this policy where we can eliminate all risk. therefore, we need to go through all the various procedures that gsa does every day. -- tsa does every day. congress needs to embrace that and embracetsa the ability to be more flexible. i met with their administrator and had this conversation. tsa and the administrator would like to be more innovative, more nimble than they are. the pressure starts on capitol hill and that is where the change needs to take place. host: a post from the internet. why this is doomed to fail. is this the control of process that locks innovative
competition. in response to queries, tsa points fingers at program vendors and vice versa. guest: if we only implement this through tsa, we will not make a lot of headway and he is right. we have to hit members of congress, embracing the need for a more efficient system, a smarter after 9/11. travelers are willing -- they are not the homogenous set that will simply bowed against any member of congress if someone -- something-ever happens. travelers are more sophisticated than that and it won a more flexible system. we want congress to make these common sense reforms. there are a lot of different people who provide the full body
scans. no doubt that there is an incestuous nature here between tsa, the benders, the airlines, the airports, who are all in this together. we need to insert the voice of the passenger who want something less complex than what they are getting today. . i appreciate the other thing. i am going to take my response
off the air. thank you, folks. guest: the key is that it has to be voluntary. we can't have a system, we're not going to make any headway with some mandatory approach where the government is collecting all of this data. americans are not comfortable with that approach. we need to look at an alternative. that's where a voluntary system makes a lot of sense. we've met with those in the privacy community. they have expressed their comfort level with something voluntary. >> host: are there international programs similar to what you are proposing? guest: the closest thing is the global entry program that helps passengers come back into the united states. i can't say others have put trust into the program nor have anyone else forced everyone to take their shoes off, the lirk out of their bags, and other thing that is we have to go through. we have talked to various travelers. there are many out there who say we just have to accept this
is the way it is. we just have to accept that other countries have having the same problem. i don't know when that came true that we just accept. this is america. every day we invent new efficiencies. we instrent internet. we can find a way to make a much more efficient process if we simply have the courage and freedom to do so. i think it takes us as travelers to embrace that and to send that message. host: jack asked off of twitter. guest: jack makes a great point. in this enalvirmente we're in from a financial situation, you're not going do see congress appropriate a lot of dollars. as i mentioned t.s.a.'s budget has increased from four and a half billion to about seven and a half billion. so how do you pay for it? a voluntary program would likely have travelers paying the cost to cover their background check and the other aspects of being in this program. host: whom?
guest: it's a user fee. whether that operator is t.s.a. or a private entity they contract with to operate the program, that's where that money would go. but it would likely be a user fee only further expressing this is a voluntary program. it's not one that all taxpayers are paying for. it's one that those who are benefiting from the program pay for. host: detroit, michigan. joe, democrat's line. caller: good morning, gentlemen. i useed to be a frequent traveler. i retired. i don't miss the airports at all. in detroit we have a program in the tunnel to the nexus card going from detroit
to windsor. it is certainly a program that has helped caller: why couldn't we come up with a program like that? guest: it's a great point. that's what we are getting at. we are accepting some risk today already in america's airports. pilots don't go through the same system because we're accepting risk. airport employees don't go through the same system although they have access to aspects of the travel process that could cause far more damage than many passengers could. what those people have done is provided background information about themselves. they have provided biometrics, biographic information, criminal background check. in exchange for that we are going to give them access to various aspects of the airport. let's use all of those same credentials and many more to allow travelers to opt in to a more streamline process. host: you are advocating for one free checked bag.
would that overload a system already as far as the system of checking these bags for potential dangerous elements as well? guest: let's be clear. no one is going to travel by air if our airlines are not financially viable. so all of us want to see our airlines be financially viable. and in recent years in large part due to what are called answer larry fees they have become more financially viable. at the same time we have to look at the security process and that is what our blue ribbon panel set out to do here. that's what we set out to do here. d.h.s. will tell you that the implementation of baggage fees has led to a 50% increase of the number of bags coming through. if you want to improve the security checkpoint you have to realign the incentives so tralers are not bringing through as many bags. people say make the bags free. not necessarily free. your bags on southwest aren't free. the price is built into the ticket. you're paying for it. we need to get back to that
incentive with at least one bag so we don't overwhelm the system. this doesn't bar the airlines from looking at a different model. charge people for chairry on bags. if you want to improve the checkpoints, that would be a smarter way to go. host: caller: i just have a comment. i served in the navy from 1970 to 1973. and even with a secret clearance i had been vetted and they knew exactly who i was, yet every time i tried to board my own ship, i had to show my id card, my dog tags, to prove who i was. if they set up some kind of a system where the people could like you were saying before, have it pre-arranged so they
can have a finger print check, i think this lines would flow a lot faster. guest: that is the model to follow. let's have people ahead of their travel prove their level of risk. let's have them prove when they arrive that they are who they say they are and give them that experience. that's the model to follow. the benefit of this model ironically is that it will actually make you more secure and more efficient for all tralers. what we're doing is taking travelers out of that line who have proven their security credentials. they are getting better experience. and now quha t.s.a. is able to do is focus limited resources on people who haven't provided as much information which makes us more secure, but for those travelers those lines are shorter. it has been proven out. it just takes the courage here in washington up here on capitol hill to pursue this
approach. it's incumbent on all of us as travelers to make sure the policy makers know we want them to have that courage. host: in looking at your three tracks, what is the time difference saved from say the physical typical review to the trusted travelers review? guest: i can't say we've gone so far to say what the minute difference would be. a lot of it would depend on the hour of the day. are you coming at peak times, nonpeak times? depends on how many people enroll. what we do know is it would streamline the process. when you look at the frequent traveler, about 20% of travelers are responsible for more than 70% of all trips. so think of those who travel most. if you could get them ab an alternative experience you've made enormous cut backs in the lines, in the process that all travelers go through, because it's really those warriors who are dominating the system. host: washington, d.c. on our frequent flier line.
tom, go ahead. caller: yes. i fly frequently, i also have a met al knee implant from knee surgery. this means i set off the alarm every time i go through the line and i get a full complete patdown. there has got to be a better way. i hope you've got some suggestions. host: in recent survey, 75% of americans say exactly what you said. there's got to be a better way. just like you, former secretary tom ridge goes through the t.s.a. checkpoint and frequently gets pulled aside for secondary screening. that speaks to some of the challenges in this system we're pulling aside former cabinet secretaries in this process. we're frequently pulling aside people that have artificial knees and hips and other things where as i'm sure you would be
willing to provide information about yourself in advance of your trip, willing to share the fact that you have that artificial knee. they would be able to track that, that would be saved in the records there. because of that, you fly through the process. that's what we need to get to. host: louisiana, republican line, carolyn, go ahead, please. caller: yes. i want to say that i think that t.s.a. and d.h.s. has gone way too far stomping on our fourth amendment rights. these scanners will not detect what the shoe bomber had and you know it. it will not check the cavities, and you know it. and i want to know what you have to say about the americans' fourth amendment right and all the other rights the obama administration has stomped all over in our constitution. guest: the good point that you make is that the technology -- there will always be a way to beat the technology. and the question that everyone
has been asking themselves post-underwear bombing which happened christmas day 2009, is what's next? where did that person explosive material next time? we can't get to every place. that's why we need the k 9, other technology, behavioral detection and focus on people that we're not able to do today. and the only way we'll be able to do it is to get a lot of the frequent travelers out of the process to focus on people who haven't provided as much information. we are on an unsustainable course. you simply can't add enough layers to check everybody. the one-size-fits-all approach doesn't work from an american taxpayers perspective, security perspective and travelers perspective where more and more are saying forget it. host: one more call, ashville,
north carolina. caller: good morning. something you described earlier about the trusted travelers program. it sounds good, it makes sense. something needs to be done. the system as it is doesn't seem to work. but it sounded like if it's voluntary, with the user fee, then it's going to cause the greater percentage of americans to not be able to join the special club and then but where as people who can afford to can get in the trusted traveler program. and then you wonder, who is doing this and who is getting the user fee, and where does the user fee apply if it's going to a company contracted out, then you're like, oh. you know, it makes me wonder. it raises my hackles about all the corporations that are
getting all the contractor stuff. guest: good point. let me start with the user fee and where that would go. you know, you really don't want to look at this as some profit-making mechanism. you do it to cover the check, the cost the cost of the biomet rick check. there is going to be money associated with that. there are two approaches. one, you have all american taxpayers pay for it or the ben factor of the improved experience pay for it. that's why the user fee makes sense. but the other point is are we getting to a system where only a select few would be able to participate. all americans couldn't afford to pay for it. i think the fact is not all americans travel by air. how do you start by creating a system that works for those that travel most frequently? let's prove that that can work and then let's look at additional alternatives for those perhaps that travel less
frequently. we're on an unsustainable course. the system isn't getting better. we're not looking like visionaries at the light at the end of the tunnel with this idea system we're trying to create. right now it's the lowest common denominator approach. let's try something like this. let's have the courage to go down that road and look at additional solutions after we learn some important lessons in this program. host: jeff freeman, thanks for your time. guest: thank you. host: in our last segment we are going to offer advice on preparing your federal taxes. if you want to start calling in with your questions, you can do so. perhaps a more efficient way would be sending us an e-mail or send us a tweet. go ahead and do that, we'll take up that discussion when we come right back.
energy. then remembering the shirt waist fire, 100 years later, the death of the young people mostly women. also, the terrorist attacks on september 11 as this year marks the 10th anniversary. for the complete schedule go to c-span.org/history. "washington journal" continues. host: if you have watched this program, you know our guest. in the "wall street journal" today there is a story about federal taxes and it says in the first couple sentences, tax season is in full swing but there is something missing, the forms the internal ref new sends out. it isn't a mistake. it's to have more taxpayers file electronically. guest: that's correct.
and it is a money saver, there is no doubt about it. and that came about from the statistic that a large number of people use paid professionals. the paid professionals have a tax program that produces the form on a laser printer so they don't actually use what the government prints. so that was a large waste of money as far as producing the forms. so the government decided to cut out the forms and now if you want the form you have to go to irsdthgove. when you go to i.r.s. dthgove to look for a tax form it says forms and publicications, if you click on that, the first thing that comes up is form number. but if you don't know the form number what are you going to put in there to find it? the tip to the public is go to the third option in the menu which is topcal index. and if you are looking let's say for automobile expenses you'll get the alphabet, click on a for automobile and then
under automobile it will give you all of the forms and publicications related to automobile so you don't have to go fishing around for the appropriate form. host: so you go to the front page, you go to the topic section and it will give you an index. guest: it will click forms and publications and then you get three choices. if you go to the third one, topcal index, you will get where you want to be a lot quicker than trying to figure out what form you need or what publicication you need. host: ok. good tip off the bat. were there any significant changes to tax policy that people should be knowing of from this year to the last? guest: there's something that people need to know about and it was not, i don't think, adequately reported in the press all around. as we know, last year they went through this whole discussion about extending the so-called bush tuts. now, that program sailed right through after a lot of discussion and that applies to
years 2011 and 2012. but there were also the extenders program and those were the things that expired at the end of december 2009. those were extended for two years also. but the two years there are 2010 and 2011. there is a one-year disconnect so while the rates were extended through the end of 2012, all of the deductions and credits that were supposed to be extended ended the end of this year. they do not go through the end of 2012. so that people who are doing planning for expenditures or taking in of income, they need to realize that that is actually now in the statute. so that is going to happen to them. so the teacher deduction, the above the line tuition deduction, some of those things that expired at the end of 2009 were only extended for 2010 and 2011 while the rates were extended through the rates of 2012. host: those are just a couple
of the top 86 we'll tackle for the remaining time today. if you want to call us and ask us a question, we've divided the lines by region. you can also send us a twiter, if you want to send us an e-mail. why don't we start there. this is sal guest: that is a dependent, using a proper word there. that is a factor of several things. first of all, how much the gross income of dependent. what a lot of people don't realize is when your dependent reaches age 24, if their gross income is equal to or greater
than the value of the personal exemption you cannot claim them. for the year 2010 that was 3,750. for 2011 it will be 3800. the exception to that is if the dependent is physically or mentally disadvantaged, then that gross income rule can be waived. so what your caller is asking, i don't have enough information to give a total answer there. but what they need to know is there will be a gross income test applied. so, for example, if your grandmother lived with you and is collecting social security, generally that's going to be greater than the value of the personal exemption. but if it then depends on how she uses the money. if she uses that for her own support, the next test is you have to be able to provide more than half of granny's support in order to claim the dependency exemption. so it's a mump-pronged test.
host: a -- multii pronged test. host: are we titled to take a tax deduction for our 19-year-old grandson who lives with us? he is not a student but does have a full-time job. we do not take any money from him for food or rent. guest: no because he is over 19 and not a full-time student. the second part is obviously he is earning money. they're not putting up anything for his own support. he is supplying more than half of his own support. so you lose on two counts there of the five dependency tests. host: maryland, john, good morning. go ahead. caller: thank you for taking my call. guest: good morning. i have a question. i have an appointment with h and r block do do mine this year due to the fact i was put on social security disability.
i filed in 2005 but it wasn't approved until 2009 and i got a lump sum. plus, i get a small pension every month now. is there a different type of way of computing like how much tax, how much of that will be taxable? guest: the answer is no, unfortunately. years ago, we used to have something in this country called income averaging where if you had a big bump in income one year you could average it out. that was long gone out of the internal revenue code. now, so unfortunately you're in a situation because every individual is on the cash basis. and that basically means from january 1 to december 31, whatever you take in is income,
and during that period of time whatever you pay out that qualifies as a deduction is deductible. so i don't really see if that was your question any way that you could average that or spread it out over a period of years. host: don asks. guest: that was installed in the statute in order to get small employers an incentive to take on more people or more employees. and it generally extends to those who are self-employed or those small employers who are employing others as an incentive to take people and give them jobs and make them productive. host: california, joseph on our callers for the mountain and pacific time zone. caller: this is great. my question is, what happened to the senior citizens's
ability to extend your -- take $500 of your real estate deduction and have it added to your standard deduction? this is for senior citizens who pay real estate taxes but don't itemize. guest: that was part of or supposed to be part of the extenders bill. and again that would have happened at the end of last year, and that's the item that should have been extended for 2 years. but i don't think that's one of the things that actually made it. i'm doing this off the top of my head. host: a couple things that were also pointed out in the "wall street journal." guest: in states, that's obviously for states like
florida for example that doesn't have an income tax but has a sales tax. the taxpayers in florida were at a disadvantage because having no income tax and only paying sales tax they weren't getting any benefit on their 1040 on itemized deductions. so assuming that you itemize you have a choice of either taking the sales tax or the income tax. and in most jurisdictions, the income tax is clearly higher than the sales tax that you're going to pay unless you are in one of those jurisdictions that doesn't have an income tax but only has a sales tax. host: alexandria rea, minnesota. go ahead. caller: thank you for your program. i really enjoy c-span. it's always very informative. i only wish you had this gentleman on a little earlier this year. my question regards the employer provided nondependent health insurance premium costs.
under the federal return, you are not taxed on this benefit. i had an employer who generously provides the nondependent coverage at no cost to me. however, the state of minnesota does tax it. and i had a very hard time, i used the tax preparation software, getting that all sorted out. and i finally figured out, ok, here's what's going on. but the state of minnesota is very quiet about it. didn't really publicize that fact. and i'm sure there is a lot of people getting hung up on this. software preparation products that i used knew that my minnesota gross was higher but did not recalculate their form. they just said, there are some items that are not taxable on
the federal return but the state of minnesota will tax. host: we'll have to leave it there. thank you. guest: you bring up a very interesting point. and obviously being from the mid-atlantic here, i can't speak 100% to minnesota. but your interesting point is when -- and i've got over 40 years experience doing this. when i started out there were basically two types of states. there were either what we as tax professionals call federal agi states. that means you start with your federal adjusted gross income. the bottom line on page 1. and then do your state calculation with some additions and subtractions. in the current budget problems that a lot of states are doing, they have gone away from that process. so what this gentleman brings up here is what's going to be extremely difficult for people is to figure out where their states actually are.
because there are more additions and subtractions to federal returns. there are deductions that went away at the state level substituted instead by a credit. so unless you know that the credit exists. now, the second part of what he said is if you are going to buy the software program, and i commend all of the software programs out there and the people who try them. the problem is that you have got to look at every input screen and every box and understand what they are asking you from the data. because the reason that that input is there is so they can make the adjustment this gentleman is talking about on the state return. so i'm sure if you go back to the software, somewhere in the input of his w 2 information it asks does your employer provide your health insurance? and if so, what's the number? and if you filled it in there it would have automatically made the adjustment on his state return.
host: "wall street journal" says for 2010 only self-employed workers who crk deduct health insurance premium can also write them off on schedule se. guest: correct. host: for those who file schedule e on the form 1040 the form was never available for the calculation of the self-employment tax, the equivalent of social security it was only available for the calculation of the income tax. for one year and one year only, the 2010 year, it is available for both the calculation of the income tax and the calculation of se tax. so sole proprietaryors will find a reduction in their se tax. but, again, that comes to input. what you need to do is if you are doing your return on your own is to provide your tax preparer of your tax program the information about how much health insurance you paid for yourself and your dependents.
and remember, the health bill included those dependents up to age 27. so if you have a child who has, is not working or who is employed but doesn't get health coverage at their employer and you are providing it, that is a deduction for you, too. and the second thing that changed here is an interpretation that the internal revenue service made that if you are a sole proprietaryor and you are over 65 and on medicare, medicare b is now considered a health insurance payment and can be used by the self-employed to be self-employed health insurance. to get this deduction that the "wall street journal" and you just referred to. host: california, yvonne. good morning. guest: caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. my husband and i have a 22-year-old full-time student.
he was a full-time student. he did not work last year. he attended or was participated in a full-time, full year internship program and he received a 1098 t form. my question is, does he need to file taxes? guest: no. in fact, the 1098 t was issued by the educational institution to show that the amount of tuition fees and perhaps other expenses, lab fees and the like that were paid for your student. i assume that since your student had no money but you are the one who actually paid the tuition, that 1098 t, you should be filling out the form for the education credit on your tax return and you might qualify for either the hope credit if it is his first two
years, the lifetime learning credit, or the one that was installed which is called the american opportunity credit which is good for all four years of college education. so if you have not yet prepared your return, you want to take that 1098 t to whoever your professional preparer is. or if you are doing it on your own, to make sure that you fill out the input necessary to get the education cret. -- credit. host: someone about out out-of-pocket medical expenses and paper work required. guest: if you are out of pocket and you are getting no reimbursement, then those expenses are dedoesn'tible and you as a taxpayer are required to maintain this. so you need to have a bill from the service provider or the pharmacy or if you are documenting mileage to and from
for medical purposes then you are required to maintain that support. now, the question is whether that is going to rise to the level of a deduction or not. because on schedule a of the form 1040 to have deductible medical expenses you need to exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income, the bottom line on page 1 of the 1040. so if your nonreimbursed expenses are not going to reach the level and it's easy for you to test. if you completed page 1 of the 1040 before you do itemized deductions go to the bottom line, multiply that number by 7.5%. and if your records for your nonreimbursed medical expenses do not equal that number you are not going to get a deduction. host: boston, massachusetts. good morning. caller: good morning. does money that originates overseas and is banked overseas have to be declared? guest: from your accent i
detect the fact that you may not be a native born here in the united states. so i need to divide this up. we fundamentally and really generalizing this have three categorize of taxpayers. we have american citizens, we have nonresident aliens, and we have resident aliens. if you fall into the resident alien category, that is your nationality is other than american, you have been here for 12 months and you are working hoor, dd here, you are 25678ed the same way all americans are taxed. so if you fall into that category. even though it's deposited outside the united states is taxable here. now, your relief is if you are also paying tax in the other country we have something called a foreign tax credit. the foreign tax credit is to avoid the dual tax of those dollars. so on your american return, you might be able to take a foreign
tax credit to avoid the double taxation on the same dollars. host: texas, next. mary. caller: hello. i have two questions. one is on the -- you were talking about real estate taxes, $500 detucks. -- deduction. did that come off of 2010 year only? guest: well, it was not renewed by the congress. so it theoretically ended 12/31 /2009. guest: i just discovered, and it blew my mind. but that they reduced when they said there was going to be a little more money in the people's paychecks, what they did is reduce social security taxes. have they lost their minds? guest: i can't speak to that. i have been at this a long time
and some of what congress does in the way of the tax code is somewhat mystifying and this might be one of those fa fall into that category. host: another one deals with charitable ira rollovers. could you expand on that? guest: this is a benefit for those who have large amounts of dollars in their retirement programs. and it's a way to reduce your gross estate by giving $100,000 to a charity of your choice. and as pedro mentioned, there are a couple of things that come along with it. you reduce your gross estate, you reduce your total assets. you benefit the charity that you have chosen. now, you get no tax deduction
for this at all, but on the other side of the coin you don't have to report the $100,000 withdrawal as additional income. for those people who want to do this, here is a warning. warning, warning, warning. danger. what you don't want to do is take the money out of the ira and you take the check and then you give it to the charity. one of the conditions in this rule is the money must move directly from the retirement account to the charity. you cannot touch it. if you touch the money and then you donate the same $100,000 to the charity, it will be taxable and you will get a charityible deduction. host: e-mail.
guest: well, you have got a real complex issue there. if you were working in north carolina and now you are living in virginia, you were paying tax in two jurisdictions. now, if your question is the moving expense deduction, remember, you have to move more than 50 miles in order to get the new job. so i assume you meet that. then you are going to fill out form 3903 and take a deduction for moving expenses. but you have got to be careful here. if any new employer reimbursed you for any portion of the moving expenses, then you are going to have an offset as to what you outlaid. so i would take a look at the instructions and the related publicication for moving expenses. now, if your question is about how much tax you are going to pay, again, if you are going to
be paying in north carolina and virginia, there is a credit for taxes paid to another state that is available both in north carolina and virginia. so you will have to figure out which way you are going to be able to do that. if you are a virginia resident, as i am, then you are going to take the credit for the north carolina tax on your virginia return. and, unfortunately, that may take you out of the ability to do e-filing because they don't process that real well on electronically filed returns. host: this is complex as well. guest: off question that a lot of people do.
and what you are talking about here is what we would commonly call a drip program. dividends reinvested is the drip program. a lot of people have done that. they've done it with mutual funds, securities. you might try going back to the transfer agent for ford and you can find their name on your stock certificate or on line. and they might be able to provide you with the documented history of when you acquired your shares, how much the dividends were, how much additional shares that bought until you got to sell them so you can have the correct basis. there is a service available on the web but it does cost money. this would be an additional cost. the program is xci tax.com. and if you go there for a fee if you give them the name of the security and when you purchased it, they will go back and do your documented history for you.
so i have given you a couple of ways to do this. and if you are really ambitious and have a little bit of time you can go to the local library or might be able to do it on line and look at either standard and poors or moody's dividend guides and begin with the year that you originally acquired the stock, figure out what the dividends were each year and when they were paid and how much you got in shares. so you have got three different ways to do this that i have given you here. good luck. host: ocean side, california. go ahead. caller: my question may be simple as a yes or no. a few years ago i got sick and tired of always having to pay my state taxes and federal taxes because i don't have any deductions as far as homes, children or anything so i started putting away an extra deduction of $100 a month to the state. now, when i got my refund of $702, i just felt like i was
getting my own money back. because i had actually put an extra 1200 in. now, when i do my federal return do i have to claim that money on the return? i feel i just got my own money back. guest: in fact you did get your own money back. but that applies to every taxpayer. remember, what you earned generally is gross wages and what they take out in the way of federal withholding or state withholding is really your money that's been diverted to the government as an asmat of what you owe for that year. the answer to your question is you must report your $702 if in the prior year you itemized your deductions. if you took the standard deductions, there was no deduction on line 5 of schedule a for state and local income taxes. therefore, you got no benefit of the deduction. you don't have to report the income. known as the tax benefit rule. however, if you did itemize
your deductions in the year when you made your payments to the state, then the $702 will be taxable when you got it out because that's the tax beb fit rule -- benefit rule. you got the benefit. you now have to report the income. host: i think you answered this already. guest: it's not a question of how much of the cost. it depends on how much money you make. but generally speaking, you are going to be input this into a program or your preparer will, which is going to take what you pay, look at your adjusted gross income and determine the credit. and there are maximums to the different credits. there is as i mentioned before, the hope credit if it's the pirts two years of college. the lifetime learning credit which goes beyond that forever, or there is the american opportunity credit which is for four years of college and then
the lifetime learning credit takes over. so you input the total amount that you have paid for tuition fees, room, board, books depending upon what it is. and then apply the appropriate limits from the internal revenue code. that's one of the things. i'm on several committees with various tax organizations. and one of the things we would like congress to do in the guise of simplification is to take all of these education benefits and make a uniformed deduction for all of them. so that if i'm the taxpayer like this person, and i've spent this money, i don't have to go shopping through the internal revenue code to find out what's going to give me the best advantage. i should be able to determine this fairly accurately without doing all of this extra tax preparation work. guest: as far as deductions for home ownership costs, where are we at?
guest: obviously mortgage interest and real estate taxes are the obvious ones. anything above that is pretty well done unless you have an office in your house or you rent a portion of your house. if you rent a room in your home or rent the basement apartment in a brownstone then a portion of your real estate taxes and mortgage interest and the direct expense force the rental property go against the rental income. if you are a sole appropriator and you meet the test for the office in the home, then portions of, let's say, cleaning, mortgage interest, real estate taxes, maintenance expenses and some portion of the depreciation of your residence are going to be available against your self-employment income. but if you are just a homeowner without renting property and without a sole proprietaryorship, then you're going to itemize and it is mortgage interest and real estate taxes. host: san francisco, we hear from dale. go ahead. caller: i mean this as a
compliment. you look like an accountant so i feel good at giving you this question. all these schedules and credits and different things is ridiculous. you know it, i know it. if i give you the magic tax reform line what would you do to reform this system? this is crazy. guest: i would rewrite the internal revenue code. as i said, i've been at this a long time. and by the way, i will go back to your comment. i thank you for saying that i look like an accountant. because most people believe that accountents have green eye shades, arm bands and we sit at these desks all the time. so thank you for that compliment. but i would go back and actually rewrite the code. if you go back in the history of the code, the program in congress was that the internal revenue code was supposed to be rewritten every 25 years. so we have the internal revenue code of 1939.
we then moved to the internal revenue code of 19r54. we were supposed to have the internal revenue code of 1979. unfortunately, that's when a certain chairman of the ways and means committee was here in washington and spent the night in the fountains with his girlfriend and that program kind of went by the wayside. and to give you an honest assessment, and i have said this publicly many times, the internal revenue code, the analogy here is back in 1916 we bought a tire. and we have been patching the tire every year since 1916. any sensible person by now would have thrown out the tire and bought a brand new one. and that's what we have to do. but that takes from the congress the intestinal fortitude to sit down there, start at section 1, and go all the way through the code and say we don't need this any more. let's get rid of it.
or, we need to expand this. because our society has changed. the egrarian deductions that were available back when the code first started, who is the farmer now? we need more things for technology, for job creation. the family farm as everybody knows is kind of fading away. it's not increasing. so all of those things that were put in the code for them, that stuff needs to be looked at. and unfortunately it takes the congress to do this. host: about ten more minutes. chicago, good morning. caller: my question would be can a couple, a married couple that has always been filing jointly, one of the spouses only works half time. is it possible to file head of household? guest: the answer to your question is no. if you are legally married as of december 31, generally your
choices are going to be filing jointly or filing married filing separately. head of household is not an option unless you did not cohabit for a large portion of the year in question. so if the year in question is 2010 and you and your wife did not live under the same roof for the entire year, you will have some other options. but if you live together for 2010 and you are legally married as of 12/31, your choices are fundamentally married filing jointly or married filing separately. host: an e-mailer asks. guest: the answer to your question is yes. that would be an itemized deduction in the medical expense category. and again, if you had no job, assuming you had little or no income, then your 7.5% of agi
limit against that deduction will be fairly small. and yourize miesed deductions will be high. but remember, deductions are always good only to the extent of income. because we don't have a concept here of negative taxable income. so the best thing that you can do is to take your deductions, reduce your income to zero, that eliminates your income tax for the most part and then if you have any estimates or withholding paid in, you will get that refunded. host: another e-mailer asked. guest: well, that's a sliding scale formula depending on his earned income as to whether or not he can get a deductible ira. now, this is something you need to sit down with a financial
adviser about because you have choices between a deductible ira. if you want to reduce your income tax. a nondeductible ira or a roth ira. and this is a financial planning decision that you need to make. you need to sit down with a professional adviser so for re example if you were my client one of the things that i would do for you is i would say, here's your deductible ira amount. this is how much you would reduce your current tax. but please remember that when you withdraw this money later on, it is going to be taxable. so if you as an individual -- and i'm not expressing my own opinion or the opinions of c-span -- but if you believe that tax rates are going to be higher later, then maybe you don't want to do the deductible irera now and pay your taxes later. you may want to pay your tax right now and put that money in a roth ira where there is no
tax later on. host: carol, good morning. caller: good morning. host: go ahead. caller: my question is this. a lot of these multinational corporations and a few of the, some of the local corporations, national corporations, as of lately what i've been gathering from a lot of the news media and c-span and so forth is they refuse to pay tax and they pay no tax. now, why should they prosecute anyone else for that same thing if they are not going to prosecute some of these larger corporations who pay absolutely no tax? guest: well, sir, they do prosecute everybody who doesn't pay tax. and one thing i want to clarify one thing you said. the corporation doesn't refuse to pay a tax. what they do is they go through
the same calculation that everybody else does, they take their income less deductions and credits to find out if they do in fact owe anything. and if they owe nothing then they're not going to pay any tax. but there is nothing that i know of where you can walk in and say, i'm not paying this year. and they're not going to prosecute you. host: gary, indiana. go ahead. caller: i was wondering if there is any deductions i can take without having any earned income. you know, my interest or things like that. and medical expenses. i'm on social security disability. guest: well, you have social security. but you're saying you have interest didends. you probably have some capital gains. the answer is schedule a, the itemized deductions are available to you. so that would be medical taxes, interest, charity, and miscellaneous. including investment expenses if you have any of those.
subject to all of the appropriate limitations on schedule a. and opposite that, you have the standard deductions. so what you would have to figure out is whether itemizing or the standard deduction would give you the best opportunity. guest: host: indiana, good morning. caller: good morning. my question is this. a friend of mine works for a multi-national million dollar company and they have given him a letter stating that his 2012 w-2, the amount of money that they pay him for his health insurance will be on that w-2. is that going to be considered income for everybody? guest: that's just the reporting tool that was in the health bill. it does not, and the internal revenue service clearly published this. it will not increase your deductions or increase your taxes, change your deductions or increase your income.
it is merely an information reporting box on the w-2 form. host: one of the things we always end up talking about is the audit. is the auditting process becoming more efficient? guest: they're becoming more selective in who they daut. and that is they are using more tools available for their criteria. including, i might add you tube and all of those social media sites. whatever you put up there is available public. that's public information. including the internal revenue service. they can go there and if you are going to get on there and go look how much money i made and i didn't report it, they're going to find you. right? because you told them. host: one of the questions is, is there enough even staffing at the i.r.s. to keep up with the number of audits they would have to do? guest: this is a question for those who debate cutting
government spending. the best analogy i can give you here. if you enact a law that requires enforcement but you don't put any dollars behind the enforcement, then you are going to get people who abuse the system. you ride home in the middle of the night, you come to an intersection, the light turns red and nobody is coming do you go through the light or do you stop? right? the law says you stop. if there is no law that i know of, they said, if it's 2:30 in the morning and nobody is coming you don't have to stop for a red light. so you stop. you're going to get the same ticket whether it's 8:00 in the morning, noon, or 2:30 in the morning for passing the red light. but in order for that to happen there has got to be a red light camera or an enforcement officer there. so that goes back to your question. you can increase the complexity of the internal revenue code. but if you don't put the money behind doing enforcement, and that's either more technology so that it allows the i.r.s. to
do or use the information that's being reported or more people on the ground, then you are not going to get the more enforcement. and you will get more abuse. host: we have about 30 seconds left. what would you advise viewers at this stage if they are get a late start on preparing? guest: take a deep breath, be patient. and the first thing you want to do is make sure you have all your records in front of you. and then divide the records into the categories. so you have your w-2s, 1099s, itemized deductions. and that's even if you are using a program on your own. combaws that's the way the program -- because that's the way the program is organized. most people get frustrated because they come with a pile of paper. the program will ask a question and then you have to shuffle through a whole bunch of pages to get what they want. so if you organize yourself up front. and i've said this to you and on this program before. my humble opinion, most americans pay more taxes